In a world filled with division and strife, Martin Luther King weekend connotes unity and togetherness. In King’s speech, entitled “Our God is Marching On,” he tells the story of asking a woman who had been marching for hours if she was tired and why she didn’t simply drive. Her response was, “My feet are tired but my soul is rested.”
Dr. King’s friendship and partnership with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel is legendary. In his writing, “The Prophet,” Heschel teaches, “God does not simply command and expect obedience; God is also moved and affected by what happens in the world and reacts accordingly.” Heschel and King looked different, prayed differently, and had different theologies. But the work they did together is the work we must continue to do. We must make our feet tired so our soul can rest. We must move God by our actions and not simply obey a command.
Our Torah tells us that God appeared to our ancestors but “did not make God’s self known to them.” The 16th century Rabbi Chizkuni explains that the human being that does not comprehend God’s presence before our very eyes. For Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel, this verse was obvious. With a march, with our love, with our partnership, God not only appears; God is made known to us.
This Monday at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST, please join us virtually for an evening of inspiration, a night dedicated to the legacy of Dr. King. Each year, I welcome my friend Pastor John Paul Foster of Faithful Central Bible Church to our pulpit. While the pandemic has limited our physical touch, our spiritual closeness has remained. Pastor Foster, his choir, and so many other guests, led by Rabbi Wolpe and Craig Taubman will inspire, allowing us not only to dream, but to fill our souls with hope.